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264                             THE GAY GENIUS

business was over, he would have a good drink with his colleagues,
and then towards sunset come home on horseback, the people of the
city lining the streets to look at this strange famous scholar.

On hot summer days he would retreat to Shiangfu Temple and take;
a nap in the room of his friend Abbot Weishien. Throwing down his
hat and his official dignity, he would take off his gown and stretch
himself on the couch and have his legs massaged by attendants. Thj^
servants then saw that he had tied his hair on top of his head with
the cheapest kind of packing string.

A a judge, Su Tungpo did many strange things.

There was a merchant who was on trial for debt. The accused was
a young man, and Su Tungpo asked him to explain his predicament.

"My family runs a fan shop," said the defendant. "Last year my
father died, leaving me some debts. It has rained so much this spring
that people do not want to buy fans. It is not that I do not want to
pay the debts."

Su Tungpo paused. His eyes brightened with a good idea, ne
looked at the brush and ink on the table and felt fit for good exercise
that morning.

"Bring me a pile of your fans and I will sell them for you," he said
to the man.

The man went home and soon brought back twenty round silk fa^>
Using the judge's brush on the table, Su began to write running scripts^
and painted bare winter trees, bamboos, and rocks on these fans. In
an hour or so he had finished painting all twenty of them. Giving
these to the man, he said: "Go out and pay your debtsi."

Surprised by his luck and thanking the governor profusely, the man
hugged his fans and hustled out of the court. Reports were already,
going around that the governor was painting fans for sale. The moment
the man stepped outside,the gate, he was surrounded with people who
offered to pay a thousand cash for a fan, and in a few minutes all the
fans were sold, to the regret of the late-comers.

Once a scholar from the country, who was going to the capital for
the imperial examinations, was arrested and brought to him on sus-
picion of fraud. The scholar had brought along two large packages,
marked as addressed to Vice-Minister Su (Tseyu) at Bamboo Pole
Alley in the capital, and as sent by Su Tungpo himself. Clearly this
was fraudulent.

"What is in those packages?" asked Su Tungpo.

"I am sincerely sorry," replied the scholar. "The people of my home
town have presented me with two hundred pieces of silk as a contribu-
tion towards my travel expenses. I know that these goods will be
taxed all the way by the custom officers, and by the time I arrive at the
capital, probably I shall have only half of them left. I thought that